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EEE2008 : Project and Professional Issues

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rishad Shafik
  • Lecturer: Miss Katie Wray
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop the students’ planning, design, construction and communication skills through teamwork in a design based project

To provide students with the understanding and practice of the planning and management of technical projects along with an appreciation of business organisation and planning. To assist students with project activities within their undergraduate studies and to enable them to fulfil their roles as future engineering managers. To provide insight into issues of ethical and sustainable design.

Outline Of Syllabus

Group design and construction project
• Engineering project planning, teamwork and documentation.
• Design of electronic subsystems for inductive position sensing, microprocessor based closed loop control and PWM motor control.
• Development of embedded microprocessor code in C language.
• Construction and testing of electronic subsystems.
• System integration, fault finding and performance optimisation.

Business Fundamentals
• Rational for incorporation. The Company as a legal entity.
• Stakeholders – Founders, Directors, Shareholders, Employees
• Classification of business structures by:
• Stage of Development : Start-ups, SME’s , industrials, conglomorates, multi-nationals
• Investment Basis : private / public,
• Funding sources VCs, Business Angels, Crowdsourcing, Banks
• Markets Served : Consumer, Industrial, Military, Transportation, Utilities
• Class of Goods : Inventoried Products, Made to order, Designed to Order
• Modern Business Organisation

The Design Process
• Design as an integrated activity spanning full product lifecycle from conception to end of use.
• Principles of sustainable design. Component sourcing, manufacturing process considerations; waste byproducts, through life support issues and design for re-use, recycling or recovery.

Project Organisation & Planning
• Describe principles of organisation and planning in the context of engineering projects.
• Discuss the cycle of specification, planning, execution, monitoring, reporting and correction.
• Introduce financial aspects of project planning – cash flow, budgets, contingencies.
• Discuss conduct of meetings identification of team goals, individual actions, follow-up and review.
• Discuss basic risk management. Provide a framework that will assist students in the planning &
execution of 2nd year group projects:

• Group Projects undertaken through a series of assignments each of which produces a component of a business plan.
• Projects to focus on products/services which address some aspect of the key challenges: Globalisation – increased levels of global trade, Climate Change, Demographic Change- - the Ageing Population and Urbanisation- the transfer of population from countryside to cities.

• Ethical Considerations – discussion and exercises highlighting ethical issues faced by engineers and the IET Code of conduct.

Business Strategic Planning
• Corporate Mission Statements
• Strategic Planning: the process of developing & maintaining a viable match between the organization’s objectives skills and resources and its changing market opportunities.
• Discussion of market Attractiveness / Competitive Position Classification and Strategies
• Waste, Health and Safety issues
• The basic Business Strategic Planning Process
• Mission->SWOT->goal formulation->strategy formulation->program formulation

Business Financial Planning
• Financial Planning Overview
• Definition of basic terms: Cash & Cash flow; Sales Forecast and Revenues; Costs, Gross Margin; Overheads and Overhead recovery; Profit;
• Profit & Loss Accounts; Balance Sheets; Cash Flow Statements; Internal Rate of Return
• Pricing: Product Pricing Strategies; Issues of Volume versus Price
• Annual Budgeting as the main driver of fiscal planning
• R& D budgeting
• Project / Product level Budgeting: Design Estimation; Product Cost estimation issues;

Role of Marketing in Business Planning
• What is Marketing? Understanding the Market.
• Methods of gathering data to form an Understanding of the Market
• The Positioning of a Company and its products

The Business Plan
Executive Summary and table of Contents; Current Marketing Situation; SWOT analysis; Issues Analysis – distillation of the key issues to be addressed by plan; Objectives; Projected profit and Loss statement; Controls and methods of Monitoring progress.
Making the Pitch

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Buggy competition
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00System demontration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Subsystem demonstration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion16:006:00Presentation (including preparation time)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Project report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion56:0030:00Business coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical123:0036:00Staff contact time includes 16 hours for supervised group meetings.
Guided Independent StudyProject work165:0065:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide basic material and guidance. Most of the work is self directed by the students, with guidance from academic supervisors. Project work forms the major element, conducted in the school’s laboratories.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152M15Presentation with individual mark.
Lab exercise152M15Subsystem demonstration
Lab exercise202A20Vehicle demonstration
Lab exercise52M5Race
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M25Crowd funding video and business summary
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The module is entirely in-course assessed, requiring the students to work in groups. The main aim of engineering design is to build an autonomous electronic Buggy that can follow around an inductive wire loop. The design tasks are systematically partitioned as three individual subsystems. Each students leads one of these subsystem designs, which is assessed based on the planning, communication and troubleshooting capabilities. The race competition and demonstrations allow for assessment of practical skills, whilst writing skills are also assessed in the project thesis, which is generated as part of the module. The module also consists of business and entrepreneurial aspects, where students prepare a business case and crowd-funding video based around the project ideas. The video and business summary gives the students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of business organisation, their teamwork and entrepreneurial skills.

Reading Lists